HBO’s hit TV series ‘Game of Thrones’ has joined up with Brewery Ommegang, a craft beer maker somewhere in New York state. Not just boasting glorious battle scene’s, peasant wenches lugging brews around and massive wolves (I’ve watched a few episodes..guilty) now a real world series of beers have been inspired by the show.
According to the big cheese’s at HBO
HBO Global Licensing explained the partnership this way: “The collaboration between Ommegang and HBO is focused on developing truly unique beers that directly tie into themes, characters and nuances of the series of the medieval-like fantasy realm of Westeros and surrounding kingdoms.”
Not sure how the local hipsters in Cape Town would take to this assault from mainstream television on their local craft brews, it may cause a riot if it was ever served at the Biscuit Mill.
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, tell that to the cape winters rain that decided to unleash itself on the mother city last Friday and into the early hours of Saturday morning. Any normal sod would rightly call off all weekend activities and replace it with enough junk food to feed a large army regiment, blankets and at least 48 hours of downloaded series and movies to put a hibernating bear to shame.
The winter rain almost convinced me to follow this course winning the first round on the Friday night, but after giving the middle finger to the rain gods I felt better about myself to venture out into Cape Town to see what the Saturday might bring. Cape Town my friend, you did not disappoint.
With a city saturated with markets and festivals of all kinds (and I’m not complaining) one more can now be added to this list and after spending a good few hours there last Saturday I’m positive it’s going to be a firm stapple on the festival calender. Cue the Hop and Vine Festival cooked up by the lads at the Craft Beer Project held at Simon’s at Groot Constania.
The premise behind such a festival was to provide a boutique beer and wine festival for the local craft connoisseur will most importantly, retaining an intimate air and atmosphere’s that larger festivals tend to lose.
There’s more to the Hop and Vine Festival than ‘chugging’down large quantities of beer and wine (who would have thought) and the organisers want to show that beer should also be sipped and savoured. Cue 15 of the best craft breweries from around South Africa and add to that some artisanal food vendors which call for a match made in heaven, the cherry on the top is the suggested food and beer pairings laid out by the organisers and they were totally ‘on point’!
Being an amateur beer drinker at the best of times does not mean I don’t enjoy a variety of tipple. CheckoutSUIP! for a more in-depth vibe on taste and style but what I can say is look out for Triggerfish, Devil’s Peak and Three Skulls Breweries these guys emptied my wallet and I’m not sorry.
With a gut full of some of the finest craft beer around the night was set for a chilled evening of blues courtesy of one Dan Patlansky at Mercury Live, a stalwart in the Cape Town live gig music scene. Mercury Live & Lounge offer an intimate gig venue with easy access to the bar, drinks are cheap, and sound quality is excellent from the acts on stage. Dan Patlansky was good, he always is. But it was his opening act that in my mind stole the show.
Natasha Meister rocked it with her soulful blues and I was sorry to see her leave the stage after only an hour.
The world of online music has dished up it’s fair share off controversy, think back to the famous court battles Napster had to endure at the wrath of the big record labels, since then things have seemed to settle down a touch, but online music itself has boarded a unstoppable freight train in terms of innovation, from the market leader in iTunes to the Swedish music streaming service of Spotify where a generous trail period off six months is allowed and after that a subscription is required.
Now everyone loves music and most love to have a drink while listening to it. A little gem of an app known as Drinkify allows us to merge these two natural partners into one. Just punch in the band you listening to at the time and this clever little program will spit out a range a drinks, completing the genre to almost a tee. Enjoy
Situated in the ‘heart of Newlands’ (literally), lies one of Cape Towns most favourite watering holes,Barristers Grill.
Well known among the southern suburbs locals, Barristers has surprisingly seemed to have escaped the attention of the city bowl trend setters. On good authority and with a juicy Super rugby game on the cards in the form of the Sharks and Highlanders, last Saturday proved a good day as any to pop in and see what all the fuss was about while grabbing a decent scoff while I’m at it.
The bar has a ‘gastro pub’ feel to it and has a welcoming atmosphere as soon as you step inside and the adjoining deck looked to be a firm favourite for those settling down to enjoy the evening with a cold brew.
We got down to business pretty quickly by pursuing thepub lunch menu(and with everything on the menu priced at R35 before 6pm -you can’t go wrong). To wash down our chicken schnitzel and fried calamari a couple of ice cold Castle Lite draughts proved to be a natural choice, with the rounds only increasing as we toasted to Pat Lambie’s success and the Sharks giving the Highlanders a proper carrot (yes I am that biased).
For desert I went for the Castle Milk stout and as a Guinness lover I have become quite taken with the local brewed version which is very quaffable, if you not careful one can easily slide three or four back without noticing.
Ambiance wise Barristers is great, good vibes, friendly, attentive staff and excellent for an afternoon of sports. There is a full restaurant through the pub if you after a more gourmet experience and word on the street is that the steaks are sensational.
I’ll definitely go back in fact I’ll be there for the Stormers game this weekend.
Right, naturally to my disbelief I heard that the Paulaner Bräuhaus was closing shop as of the 19th February 2012. Taking this as some sick joke flushed into the market by SAB to get us all to drink more Castle Lager (bleh), I had to bare witness to this tragedy. It’s true, an establishment that’s been operating out of the Cape Town V&A Waterfront for the last ten years has had to shut its doors as a result of a rental disagreement with the V&A Waterfront, who by the way wanted to literally double the rental, or so the word on the street goes.
As a result, owners of the Paulaner Bräuhaus, Hospitality Property Fund Limited (HPF), promptly showed the V&A the two fingers and closed shop there and then.
The V&A Waterfront, which is a lame as a two legged dog, has in my mind lost the one last vestige of originality leaving behind some very run of the mill ‘tourist’ trap restaurants offering nothing else but overpriced bottled water.
Where now can we enjoy Paulaner Weissbier, Münchner Dunkel or Paulaner Hell, enjoy the delicious eisbeins and have rip roaring Oktoberfest celebrations, not to mention dancing a few jig’s with the odd German?